How to Help Someone with Depression & Cancer—What Signs to Look for

Making a conscious effort to maintain your health is very necessary. Diseases, physical and mental, can cause fatal damage even for the younger generations. Two diseases to look out for these days are depression and cancer. Educating yourself is the best way to make informed decisions for you or care for your loved ones who may be suffering.

Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Options

Cancer, a disease that consists of uncontrollable cell division that causes cell abnormality in the body, is, unfortunately, becoming more popular. Even though it is usually diagnosed in elderly people, younger people are being diagnosed. Unlike cancer, depression is not always easy to diagnose. At some point, everyone feels down on their luck or struggles to be in a good mood. When it becomes a feeling that does not go away, depression may be the cause of such feelings. Some key symptoms of depression and cancer to look for are:

  • Unidentifiable lumps and weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blood in the stool
  • Reckless behaviour
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Bowel movement changes
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Mouth ulcers that will not heal
  • Bloody urination
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Problems with concentration and making life decisions

Treatment

Once you’ve gotten your cancer diagnosis, it is important to educate yourself on which option is best for your condition. An effective cancer treatment option is private radiation therapy. This treatment uses x-ray technology to destroy existing cancer cells without damaging the surrounding healthy cells. It can be the first solution, however, sometimes it is recommended after chemotherapy and surgery.

When cancer cannot be completely destroyed by radiation therapy, palliative radiation therapy, which shrinks tumours, may be used. This is another option that minimizes the pain and reduces symptoms drastically.

Because the signs are not usually overtly obvious like cancer symptoms, it is something that you should pay closer attention to and have a greater sense of emotional self-awareness. When depression goes unnoticed in you or a loved one, it can cause suicidal thoughts, which is a major red flag. It is also important to know certain symptoms are more prevalent in certain demographics. For instance, men have greater feelings of hopelessness while women are more likely to feel guilty and overeat.

How You Could Help Them?

When you or a loved one realize that depression is taking over your life, there are steps to take to get healthier.

  1. Smaller Goals: It is important to start with smaller goals and build them over time. Reaching out to people you can trust as well as lending an ear to someone with depression is a major help.
  2. Proactive: Despite the desire to sleep the day away, getting out in the fresh air and being active will help subdue the depression symptoms.
  3. Proper Food Intake: Diet also can affect mood, therefore eating a balanced diet is important to helping depression symptoms stay under control. If you cannot self-soothe using these methods, medication or therapy may better serve you.

Taking care of your health, both mentally and physically, is important to living a great life. There are many factors that can impact your health every day so proper self-care is imperative. Having a proper support system can make a difference because no one wants to suffer alone. Make sure if you see any of these symptoms or cancer or depression consistently to get the necessary professional help. Your life depends on it.


Image Credits: Nathan Anderson

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